Expectations of health

When you’re a kid and you feel sick, you expect to get better. Headaches are rare and ephemeral. Stomach aches pass within hours. Colds last two weeks if you go to the doctor; fourteen days if you don’t.

Everything can be cured with a pill or a shot, which are hateful, but always followed by ice cream and cuddles, which are fine.

Good health is expected. Strength is something that grows. The life force is so strong that sometimes you just have to find a nice open space and run, just to work off the excess energy.

Then you get old, and you don’t expect to get stronger, or bigger, or better. You start suspecting that every little discomfort marks the beginning of the end.

Every headache is a tumor. Every cold is pneumonia, or a congestive disorder of the heart or lungs. Every tremor is Parkinson’s, every lapse of memory is Alzheimer’s.

We see our doctors more frequently than we see our friends, and spend much more on medicines than we do on wine or entertainment.

Of course the end is nearer than it used to be, but must we always act as though it were just around the corner?

I choose to think I can still get better. I even choose to think the world will get better, and I’ll live to see it.

I wish people my age would stop prematurely mourning themselves, and start taking advantage of the life we have left.

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